Zika Virus…..Gotta love it!
So as soon as I posted my Zika Virus blog post a few weeks ago….THE VERY NEXT DAY, there were new updates…..
We are learning NEW and MORE things about this virus on a DAILY basis.
FORGET what you HEARD; i.e, the Zika Virus is caused by pesticides, vaccines such as whooping cough, or genetically modified mosquitos……REALLY?!?!?!?
Click here to view my original post on the Zika Virus and what you needed to know.
Since that post, here are ADDITIONAL things you NEED to know:
Testing for the Zika virus is now recommended for ALL pregnant women that have traveled to an area where the Zika Virus is an issue; previously, testing was recommended ONLY if pregnant women having traveled to a Zika infected area were having symptoms.
For pregnant women who have male partners that have traveled to a Zika infected area, the recommendation is to either ABSTAIN from sexual relations during the course of the pregnancy, or USE CONDOMS for the duration of the pregnancy.
Right after I posted my last Zika blog, I was inundated with questions about recommendations for folks/women who were not pregnant and the effects of traveling to a Zika infected area on the timing of getting pregnant…….there is/was some recommendation about waiting 2 years to get pregnant that had folks up in arms……this is what I tell my patients:
Aside from making sure that you are taking all the necessary precautions;i.e, long sleeves/pants, mosquito repellents, etc. , the other thing to do if you are traveling to a “Zika location” is to ensure you are on adequate contraception to prevent a pregnancy. From what I have read, the Zika viruses incubation period is anywhere from 1-2 weeks, the Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week. The cdc recommends protected sex for at least 1 month in someone that has traveled to an infected area.
Because of what we know about the short incubation period as well the short amount of time that the Zika virus actually remains active in an infected persons body, I think the 2 year recommendation that is/was floating around is a bit extreme and I have’t found that supported by any US literature.
I am telling my non pregnant patients traveling to infected areas to ensure they are on adequate contraception, taking necessary precautions, and if they do happen to get bitten by a mosquito or acquire the virus while traveling, to avoid pregnancy for at least a month. This info is straight from the cdc as well as an article recently published in the NYT.
Hoping this blog post not only adds value to your day, but has cleared up any misconceptions you may/may not have had about the Zika Virus.
Until Next Time,
Look Better. Feel Better. Be Better.
Mother, Midwesterner, and award-winning OB/GYN, Dr. Angela is equal parts best girlfriend and bold professional, supporting women’s health with innovative approaches to care and heavy doses of humor. Dr. Angela has done more than launch a successful practice, she has defined herself as a voice for a new generation of womanhood, established her ASK DR. ANGELA brand committed to authenticity, and built a community rooted in trust, candor, and compassion.